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Pasta with Vodka Sauce & Chicken

Pasta with Vodka Sauce & Chicken

Not every meal can be made with fresh ingredients, although probably our European counterparts might argue otherwise, especially the French.  But then again, this from a country where even ordinary people have 4 weeks vacation and probably don’t work till 6 or 7:00pm every night.  So since we Americans like to work so much, we have to compensate by making up the time somewhere else, like preparing the evening meal.  Of course here in NYC where people routinely work late, they just don’t bother to cook;  You can hardly find a kitchen in The City that doesn’t have a drawer, box or folder full of take-out menus!  Anyway, this recipe is for those times when getting dinner on the table quickly is a necessity.   Paired with some pan-steamed broccoli, this makes a lovely weeknight meal.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb penne rigate (or any lined pasta) cooked per pkg directions

1 24 oz jar of Vodka Sauce

1 TBS olive oil

1 pkg (2 breasts) of garlic marinated chicken breasts**

1 TBS basting oil*

1 TBS butter

4 tsp shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

* Basting oil (Wegman’s) can be made by adding garlic powder, thyme and parsley to canola oil

** Wegman’s sells the chicken breasts already marinated, you can do so the night before in some  olive oil, garlic, lemon juice.  Forget the fennel unless you have some.

DIRECTIONS:

Simmer sauce on low in small saucepan.

Heat olive oil in large pan on MEDIUM-HIGH, until oil fairly smokes;  add chicken. Turn over when chicken changes color one-quarter of way up and seared side has turned paper-bag brown, 3-4 minutes.  Reduce heat to MEDIUM; cook chicken 10-12 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165°.

Add basting oil and butter to pan; swirl.  Baste chicken with spoon, 1-3 minutes. Transfer to clean platter. 

Toss pasta with warm sauce. Divide evenly on 6 plates, top with sliced chicken. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.  I used a platter (family style).

Recipe from Wegman’s Menu magazine

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The first real chilly and very breezy day of the season was yesterday and so since we had invited our next door neighbors to join us for dinner, I could see that a cook-out was definitely out of the question! Hard to believe that last Saturday, we were sitting on the beach in bathing suits no less! Well all the windows were shut all day in an effort to keep the cottage somewhat warm and not have to put the heat on yet.  We were going to need a good hot meal… so this is what I served:

Antipasta platter

Bowtie Pasta with Vodka Blush & Chicken

Green Beans with a garlic cheese finishing butter

Mixed Green Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Fresh Italian bread with sun dried tomatoes in it. (Costco)

Homemade coffee cake, fresh fruit salad and coffee

Bowtie Pasta with Vodka Blush & Chicken

1 lb Farfalle pasta, cooked according to preference

24oz of Vodka Blush sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 # Chicken cutlets marinated in Lemon & Garlic (I bought them already marinated)

1 Tbsp basting oil (purchased)**

1Tbsp butter

4 tsp of shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

Simmer sauce on low in small saucepan

Heat Olive oil in large pan on MEDIUM-HIGH till oil fairly smokes, add chicken. Turn when chicken changes color one-quarter of the way  up and seared side has turned paper bag brown, 3  4 minutes.

Reduce heat to MEDIUM; cook chicken 10-12 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Add basting oil and butter to pan, swirl.  Baste chicken with spoon 1 – 3 minutes. Transfer to clean plate.

Toss pasta with sauce. Divide evenly on 4 plates, top with chicken and sprinkle with 1 tsp of cheese.

Recipe from Wegman’s  MENU Magazine

The green beans were blanched and then tossed with a “finishing butter” which is seasoned with garlic and cheese.

My neighbor made the delicious homemade coffee cake.

This is what I learned: The chicken cutlets were thick and took longer than recommended time and were not reaching 165 degrees – so I covered pan for a bit so they wouldn’t dry out.  I used freshly made (and purchased) Vodka Blush sauce but believe you can use a jar of Vodka sauce.  A pound of Farfalle was too much pasta for 4 people, you could cook less or save the leftover like I have for next day.  The recipe does not call for slicing the chicken cutlet when you put on top  of the pasta but the photo in magazine suggests that.  ** You can make your own basting oil by combining grape seed oil and canola oil with dried thyme, dried parsley and garlic powder.

**** Sorry that so many of these ingredients were purchased at Wegman’s and you might not have one near you.  Wegman’s carries their own line of products like the basting oil, the Vodka Blush fresh sauce and the finishing butters.

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